The holiday season is all about good cheer, but it's a hectic period, too. With lots of plans and expectations to fulfill, the time of year is also overwhelming. For some couples—be they dating, engaged, or married—the holidays can be downright stressful thanks to busy schedules, family tensions, or the pressures that come with hosting duties. What can you do when joyful festivities are the ideal, but reality paints a different picture?
We consulted intuitive healer Holly Star for a guide to tackling the holiday season from a spiritual, energy-focused perspective. Below are her best tips for a variety of situations, from throwing a holiday party to handling hostile relatives.
How can couples tackle the holiday season as a team?
Before couples approach the holiday season, Star recommends looking inside, and identifying each person's unique strengths. Once you've noted them, view them as tools to help you approach the holiday stressors you face. If your partner is great at diffusing conflict, for example, have him or her sit between you and a rude family member at the dinner table. You can return the favor by helping him or her with one of your own skills. Divvying up tasks is always beneficial, even when those tasks require emotional, rather than physical, work.
Generally, it's useful to map out what you hope to achieve as a pair. To "prepare and set the groundwork" for a successful holiday season, Star advises partners to start by "finding out what the needs are for their own individual selves," and then explore how those needs come together as a couple. Set a vision and find out how your combined efforts can bring it to fruition. All in all, be kind to each other. According to Star, "Finding key things that you appreciate about your partner and reminding him or her during the holidays" is essential. "Try to just be a team and look at how you can align with your needs as individuals and as 'we.'"
How can couples prepare to host a holiday event?
Aside from her consulting services, Star also owns Matter & Home, a shop that sells household accessories that double as healing objects. In turn, the expert knows a thing or two about bringing good vibes to your place of abode. "I always like to set an intention before anyone comes into my home," she shares. If your goal is to have a peaceful party, consider lighting lavender-, rose-, or ylang-ylang-scented candles, which are said to promote serenity. If open communication is desired, Chrysocolla crystals can help—might we suggest using them in your centerpieces?
Seasonal staples work great for subtly bringing positive energy, too. "I like to burn some pine for keeping the space lifted and adding warmth, light, and support," Star shares. "Holly's in season around the holidays, and is used in energetic medicine for keeping the heart connected and gentle," she adds.
How can couples approach tricky relationships over the holidays?
Unfortunately, spouses, fiancés, and dating couples can run into trouble when combining their families over the holidays. With so many personalities in the room, it's possible that relatives won't get along. Before you get in a fight with an in-law or assume that your partner's parents hate you, consider Star's advice. "It's good to remind yourself to stay open, in your mind and heart," she says. And if someone you've had tensions with is coming, she thinks "working on forgiving them before they even enter the room is essential."
"If you get triggered, breath into that place, don't react, and see if you can come up with an answer or a way of speaking that is right for you," Star also notes. "Then let it go. Keep breathing into the space in your body that gets accelerated. Slow it down and care for it."